Recently, the Philadelphia Orchestra performed with Aretha Franklin and Condoleeza Rice to a packed house at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia. The performance raised money for art education. However, it has been very rare for the orchestra to almost sell out tickets to a regular concert, they average 65% of capacity. Due to the decline in attendance and philanthropy, the orchestra has been operating in the red and, in my opinion, will probably need to reorganize.
Peter Dobrin wrote an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the fiscal problems here:
In it, towards the end he wrote, “Among the evening’s curiosities: players sitting idle as Franklin sang to a recorded classical track by another orchestra”. I can’t believe I read this. Is the Philadelphia Orchestra not good enough to play the music? It’s a live concert, with one of the best orchestras in the world, and they sat on stage while a recording of another orchestra was played. This is not the way to build an audience, but a way to show how ineffectual and unnecessary the orchestra is.